Monday 11 December 2023

Cybermobs for online academic bullying - a new censorship option to protect The Science™ ’s status-quo

Written for individuals interested in what academic cybermobbing and the Science™is, plus how both stifle opportunities for challenging research and academic free speech in Higher Education.  

I prepared the presentation below for a talk to PANDATA’s Open Society on December the 6th, 2023. Thank you to Domini Gordon for organising the talk, and Dr Piers Robinson for facilitating the questions.


This talk addresses how how academic cybermobs now serve as a new censorship option for protecting scientific orthodoxy. Such mobs attempts at silencing dissenters are a small part of a much greater concern regarding the censorship of legitimate disagreement and scientific truths at university, and online. This presentation has extensive notes, so should be easy to follow (or you can follow the Open Society Rumble account and view my uploaded talk once it's shared there).

Feedback to the presentation was positive, with the audience agreeing that it is necessary to formalise a critical space within universities where viewpoint diversity and boundary-breaking research can be promoted. For example, universities could consider how to support apolitical funding for adversarial research collaborations. Universities must also motivate for funding from government to address the lack of funding outside medicine for innovative, and potentially controversial, research. Without action to support such academic freedom, funders' biases will continue to constrain all research conflicting with their interests.

There is also an opportunity to highlight institutional entanglements from corporates (for example, AstraZeneca and Oxford University), plus to contribute research on the drivers for censorship across different issue arenas, and the agents involved (stretching across broadcast media, multinational companies, political lobbies, intelligence agencies and government).

The Noakes Foundation, Pandata and other dissident research supporters should also work to connect to groups working for academic free speech, and mutually promote their work. These include:
  1. The recently launched University of Austin
  2. FIRE Foundation for Individual Rights and Free Expression
  3. The Brownstone Institute
  4. Quilette
  5. Heterodox Academy
  6. Free Speech Union
  7. Academic Freedom for All
  8. Do Better Academia
  9. FreeX and LoofWired

Likewise, for anti-bullying groups, such as:
  1. Academic Parity movement
  2. Speak Out Revolution
  3. Whistleblower Anti Bullying Network
P.S. My X (formerly Twitter) list for 'Anti workplace bullying' features these and other groups.

The audience suggested several individuals who have been targets of academic cybermobbing for germane case studies. These included three past speakers to Open Society, Professor Michaela Schippers, Dr Laurens Buijs and Professor Paul Frijters.

I enjoyed learning from the audience, and hope to present to the Open Society in the not-too-distant future with in-depth research examples for academic cybermobbing. These may present interesting contrasts to the Emeritus Professor's case written about in 'Distinguishing online academic bullying'!

If you have any questions about this presentation or concerns, please post a blog comment below.

No comments :

Post a Comment

This blog is moderated due to problems experienced by a few readers who could not submit unmoderated comments. Please keep your comment length under 300 words; any longer and you will struggle to submit it. Ta, Travis.

Total pageviews since 2008's launch =


> Translate posts into your preferred language


> Search

+ or search by labels (keywords)

research (55) education (43) design (22) nvivo (16) multimodal (9) visual culture (4)

+ or search blogposts by date


> Tweets

> ORCID research profile

> Web of Science

> Social bookmarks + Edublogs listing
diigo education pioneer Find this blog in the education blogs directory

> Pinterest
> Create With Pinterest